City staff told the Finance and Administration committee last week that they have received funding from the Whatcom Community Foundation’s (WCF) “Project Neighborly” fund to hand out gift cards to City Council meeting attendees as an incentive to attend.
City staff said they believe people who are involved in civic processes would be less confused about what is happening and know how to better interact with the City. Attendance at council meetings is “sparse” according to City Communications Officer Riley Sweeney. “Apathy is dreadful and I want to change that.”
The initial proposal was to give away $10 gift cards from a coffee company with a location in Ferndale to people who attend their first council meeting. The WCF grant would cover 50% of the gift card cost and participating merchants are going to be asked to cover the other 50%. As a result, there would be no cost to the City.
Staff say this still in the formation stage and will be formally announced before being implemented. If successful, the gift card offerings would likely be expanded to other types of businesses.
Would you attend a Ferndale City Council meeting for a $10 gift card?
- Yes (66%, 105 Votes)
- No (34%, 53 Votes)
Total Voters: 158